Coming soon…

Oil & Water abstracts

I have been wanting to experiment with oil and water macro shots for awhile now. Today I had fun playing! If you are interested, I’ll explain how I did this at the bottom of the post. Here’s my favorites!

ISO 4000   f/8   1/200 sec.ISO 3200   f/8   1/250 sec.ISO 3200   f/11   1/200 sec.ISO 4000   f/8  1/200 sec.ISO 200   f/9   1/160 sec.ISO 2000   f/8   1/640 sec.ISO 200   f/16   1/320 sec.ISO 200   f/9  1/160 sec.

How I did it: I used a glass cup, filled it with a little water and place it on a glass dish supported by two books. I used the flashlight on my phone to project light up into the bubbles. I wanted to add some color, as well as diffuse the light so I used colorful sheer ribbon on top of the light. After I had my camera settings ready I poured a little olive oil (about a tsp.) into the cup. I watched the bubbles separate for a minute and photographed the clusters shooting straight down at them. If the bubbles weren’t separating like I wanted I swirled it around a bit with a straw. The last image I added a drop of food coloring to one of the bubbles. Here’s a pullback of my setup.

You don’t necessarily have to use a cup. You could pour water/oil right into the dish. I just wanted the bubbles to be contained a little more. The water looks red in the glass here because this was taken right after I added the food coloring.

A couple more hints…

Make sure your aperture is set at f/8 or above to get all of the bubbles in a cluster in focus. I handheld my camera, so all my shutter speeds were at least 1/160 sec. Most were above 1/250 so I could freeze the movement of the bubbles. If you don’t have enough light for those settings I would recommend using a tripod. It takes a super steady hand to get those bubbles in perfect focus! I was holding my breath on a lot of these…haha!

Also, make sure you focus on the edge of a bubble, not the background color underneath. And use manual focus at the closest focusing distance your macro will allow. My lens allows me to get about 6 inches away from the bubbles!

Now it’s your turn! I challenge you to try it. Then come back here with a link so I can check out your images when you are done!

4 comments
  • Allison JacobsFebruary 7, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    Love these! Thanks for your pull back too – I always love seeing the behind the scenes!ReplyCancel

  • MelissaFebruary 7, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    Fabulous job, Jennifer!! Thanks so much for the pullback, too. Very helpful and you rocked this!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa N.February 7, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    Love these Jennifer, you make me want a macro lens so bad!!! I love the pull back too! Bookmarking this for future use. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • TamiFebruary 7, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    Nicely done! I really like the color that the ribbon adds – I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Great idea! I keep meaning to play with this, but never sat myself down to try. You’ve inspired me.ReplyCancel

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